Map - Wedge Island

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Wedge Island

Wedge Island is a settlement located north of Lancelin and south of Cervantes on the Western Australian coast.

The name mainly refers to the mainland settlement but also refers to a 400 m long wedge shaped island located just south of "the point". The settlement of Grey is about 15 km north-west. Both are within the Shire of Dandaragan.

The island occupies an area 4.03 ha and is situated 200 m from the mainland. The island has a maximum elevation of 21 m.

It lies within the Turquoise Coast islands nature reserve group, a chain of 40 islands spread over a distance of 150 km from north to south.

Wedge Island was named after government surveyor Charles Wedge, in 1875 by Staff-Commander William Edwin Archdeacon R.N., who was in charge of the Admiralty survey of the coast of Western Australia.

The settlement is now home to approximately 350 beach shacks on unvested land that are used by crayfishermen and holiday-goers. A new sealed road, Indian Ocean Drive was opened in September 2010, and there are claims that this has changed the local environment. The road, intended to promote tourism is well known for a number of serious vehicle crashes since it opened.

Wedge can also be accessed via the beach if the tide is out. The beach is very soft during summer and many vehicles become bogged or are swept into the water. There is no access at any time through the military range. Trespassers face large fines and possible loss of their vehicle if caught.

Wedge is often quiet during the cooler months but during major public holidays such as Christmas, New Years Day and Australia Day there are people in nearly every shack. Camping in the area is now officially prohibited. It is estimated that 14,000 individuals may use the shacks at Wedge and Grey. There are no shops, mains electricity nor running water, so generators are common. Activities include four wheel driving, sand boarding, surfing and kitesurfing, fishing, swimming and snorkeling. Motorbike riding has been banned in the area surrounding Wedge Island after many accidents resulted in people needing to be air lifted to get medical attention. The ranger now hands out fines to those caught using unlicensed vehicles in the vicinity, or leaving rubbish there.

A man was fatally stabbed during a beach party on the northern side of Wedge in December 2013, after a brawl broke out. The New Year's Eve party involved more than 600 people.

The WA Government has considered the removal of the shacks on Wedge in line with government policy. In March 2010, the Minister for the Environment Donna Faragher announced that she would not be seeking an end to the leases at Wedge and Grey until compromise options were considered by government. In April 2011, a WA Legislative Council Standing Committee found that coastal shacks should be removed to protect the environment from "unplanned growth". The shack leases were due to expire on 30 June 2011 but the Wedge community won a one-year renewal for all occupied facilities. 

Map - Wedge Island

Latitude / Longitude : 30° 49' 43" S / 115° 11' 18" E | Time zone : UTC+8 | Currency : AUD | Telephone : 61  

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Country - Australia

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Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century. It is documented that Aborigines spoke languages that can be classified into about 250 groups. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.
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